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Department of Biological Sciences

The Fu lab published a new Spotlight commentary in Molecular Plant

Plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs) are notorious agricultural and forestry pests and have been estimated to cause over $157 billion of crop losses globally every year. Synthetic nematicides have been widely used for the control of PPNs for decades. For example, the commercial nematicide fluensulfone causes gradual metabolic damage to nematodes, but its exact target remains unknown. However, due to increasing concerns on environmental toxicity and human safety, the availability of commercial nematicides remains very limited. In fact, only less than a hand of nematicides are approved for use in the USA and Europe without restriction in the 20th century. In their new commentary titled "Bioactivated and selective: A promising new family of nematicides with a novel mode of action",  Dr. Zhengqing Fu and his colleagues discuss the identification of a new family of nematicides that was recently reported in an article published in Nature.  Using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to screen a chemical library for compounds with nematocidal activity, this study identified three new imidazothiazole-containing molecules that exhibit nematode-killing activity. A fascinating read!

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